Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Storm Clouds Gather Over Sydney's WTO Ministerial

For immediate release: 10 November 2002

Storm Clouds Gather Over Sydney's WTO Mini-Ministerial

"The first salvos were fired in Sydney today against the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) invitation-only ‘mini-ministerial’ meeting later this week," reports Professor Jane Kelsey of the Action, Research and Education Network of Aotearoa (ARENA).

A seminar on 'Alternatives to the WTO', organised by the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) and sponsored by over 40 major Australian organisations including union, church, development agencies, students, environmental and indigenous groups, was attended by several hundred people.

"Keynote speeches from leading activists in Thailand and the Philippines condemned the WTO’s model of corporate-led globalisation and its contempt for sovereignty and democracy, exemplified by this week’s meeting," Kelsey reported.

"Workshops focused on key issues that are likely to derail next year’s WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, such as what free-trade-in-services means for essential services like water, health and education and for agriculture. Or the impact of zero tariffs on workers and industry; how intellectual property rights deny access to life-saving medicines; debt cancellation and financing of genuine development; as well as the environmental destruction wrought by free trade.

Kelsey says at the workshop she led on investment, "Australians were incensed that the proposed ‘bill-of-rights' for transnational companies known as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), which was defeated by the OECD in 1998, was being resurrected in the WTO."

"Today’s seminar was a further nail in the coffin of the free trade support propaganda that 'there is no alternative'. Building on years of opposition from around the world, people spelt out demands for international regulation of trade and foreign investment and national policies that put people, not international capital, at its centre."

"This latest attempt by Australia, New Zealand and other free trade evangelists to rescue the WTO’s globalisation agenda will face mounting opposition on the streets of Sydney this week, and on the road to Cancun next year," says Professor Kelsey "Today’s seminar set out the intellectual arguments behind the banners and placards".

Ends: 322 text words

Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland and the Action, Research and Educational Network of Aotearoa (Arena) is currently in Sydney as an accredited press representative for The Internationalist during the WTO mini- ministerial meeting on November 14 and 15.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>

 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election